Natalie Decorte started her career as a ballerina before hanging up her dance shoes and pursuing modelling. She’s also now a busy mama of four and the editor-in-chief of digital magazine The Polo Project. Here, we find out more about her Covid-inspired tree change, her personal style, and raising four kids.
L: Natalie wears the Lottie Dress in Klein Blue. R: Frankie Dress
IN CONVERSATION WITH NATALIE DECORTE
Tell me about the tree change – what inspired the move to the country?
Our tree change was brought about by Covid. Unable to run our Urban Polo events, with no clear timeline or government support for the industry, we were sitting in a North Bondi rental, with four kids and no income. Moving in with my parents was starting to look like a good option. I had an apartment in Melbourne that I used to live in before I met my husband and thought it would be wise to sell while property prices were booming and see what we had left to work with. We weren’t entirely sure what we were after, but we knew it had to be an adventure, something exciting for us and the kids. All the typical trendy places were already out of our price point, so we were lucky to find a home in the Myall River Valley, a hidden gem inland of Bulahdelah, and only three hours north of Sydney!
How has living in the country changed family life?
Life has changed so much for us! I honestly thought I would miss the business of Bondi, the cafes, shops, restaurants and the accessibility to everything, but our family is at a stage where the kids really want and need to spend time with us. The tree change has forced us to slow down and simplify. The vast open spaces have such a calming and healing energy, I love that we cannot see another light from our home at night. After school activities have changed to farm duties – ducks, chickens, goats and cows all need to be tended to, and cuddled. We are all learning so many new skills which is really refreshing. Some things are a bit of a pain, I have to be super organised with a big weekly shop, there is no popping out to the shop or milk run delivery, no Uber Eats or Jimmy Brings! Although my veggie patch is practically a Harris Farm fresh produce section now…
As a model you work with lots of fantastic brands – from a personal style perspective, what do you look for day-to-day in the clothes you wear?
Quality, sustainable clothing in classic shapes and styles, pieces I will be passing on to my kids. I still make an effort to dress well even though it’s mainly for me! I always shower before dinner and put something nice on for the evening.
You wore our new Lottie maxi to the polo – what do you love about the dress?
I love the colour, the linen fabric, and the wide hem at the bottom, it gives the dress a gorgeous weight and allows it to fall perfectly.
L: Natalie wears our Zee Shirt. R: Beth Boilersuit
Natalie wears our Frankie Dress
As a mum to four, how do you keep the wheels turning?
I have found the key is to make the kids more self-sufficient. They really do relish the responsibility, and it makes them better people! This approach is currently only working for the older two (Indigo, 11, and Blaise, 10). Margot, 2, and Cassian, 5, are still a WIP. Although Margot, more so than Cassian, is always the first to don her gumboots and join me in the veggie patch to help.
What’s the best part about raising four kids?
For us four kids felt like the right balance. There are so many personalities under the same roof, there is never a dull moment. Seeing them all interact, teach and help each other is so wonderful to witness. It’s like there’s a party at ours every night with our most favourite people in the world.
What are your style tips for the polo?
Polo dressing is all about understated elegance, and functionality. Make sure to be comfortable, dress in a way that allows you to participate fully in the day. Nothing too tight fitting and definitely no stilettos. Once you have that as a base bring your own personal style. Preppy, block colour, florals are all great options. Wide-brimmed hats, statement sunnies are always cute and appropriate accessories.
What’s the best life advice you’ve been given?
I haven’t been told this, but it’s something I’m realising more every day. We save so many things for a special occasion, whether it be the good tablecloth or the expensive wine. So much so that things end up spoiling, or the kids grow out of those awesome kicks or the cute outfit. Wear the dress, eat the cake - the special occasion is now!
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Natalie wears our Orange Lottie Puff Sleeve Mini & Styles our Leonard the lobster table cloth